Monday, 25 September 2017

Still going

no, I don't use a typewriter. Especially a pink typewriter.
But I am still writing lots and lots. Playing with different genres, lengths and so forth.
Best time ever!
At work my slightly odd colleague asked a slightly odd question. I figure it illuminates us as to the kind of person we are and how we see life, so I'm going to ask you and really want you to answer even if you don't usually comment, OK?

Which is the happier animal: badger or mole?
Answers not on a postcard please

Sunday, 24 September 2017

I'm a bad blogger

Currently I'm writing one of my short stories obsessively every free moment I have and it's fantastic for me, I'm excited and having so much fun doing it, but it does make it hard to post about my much less exciting real life, hence the couple of missed days last week. I'm not sick or depressed, I'm just distracted. I've also had some really bad back pain, possibly from crouching over the keyboard so much lately. Anyway, must try harder.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Was weird and frustrating and downright maddening in the morning.
I got up as usual having not slept brilliantly - as usual - and headed off to walk to the station like every Tuesday.
As I got within probably a quarter mile of the station I saw someone walking towards me who I vaguely recognized as someone who catches the same train as me. I didn't think it was a good sign, that he was walking away from the station, and I was right. My train had been canceled. All the trains for several hours had been canceled. I catch the train at one of those small stations that are more like bus stops, there are only 2 platforms and one track running in each direction. And on that track a vehicle used for track maintenance overnight had broken down so the track was blocked. The information board in the station said they might not be running any trains till 11. This was at 6:30am.
I thought about going home but that would have meant having to take holiday because I'm not set up for remote access, and I don't have a lot of holiday left now. So I decided to catch a bus to Caerphilly, which has a bigger station with multiple tracks and more trains in hope that there would be some running from there. I didn't know where the buses stopped do I popped into the house of my mother and father in law to ask them, and my lovely mother in law volunteered to drive me to Caerphilly instead. That put me more or less back on track, unlike a lot of people I was actually only about 20 minutes late arriving at the office, which was much better than I expected.
But it was a stressful start to the day and I hadn't been feeling full of beans before that, so by mid morning I was absolutely dead on my feet. Seriously, struggling to keep my eyes open, yawning constantly, foggy brained, the whole lot. And that lasted all day and in to the evening which is why you're hearing about it now not yesterday.
I did sleep better last night but really didn't appreciate my alarm going off at 5 this morning. I need several good nights in a row and I don't seem able to get them :-(
At least the trains were running more or less on time this morning...

Monday, 18 September 2017


My weekend was really quiet and pretty boring so I won't bore you with it.
Today I finished my second draft of the short story. On Friday night it was 11724 words. You might remember I said I was aiming for 5000 words in total, so obviously I was a little over. Now I've done my first redraft - and it somehow became 12199 words! That does include 12 words that don't count - Chapter 1-Chapter 6 - but still, I think you'd agree that's not exactly a step in the right direction. Except that I think the second draft is a bit better than the first so that is a step in the right direction. 
Editing / redrafting is hard. It's not as much fun as writing either. But I'm still going to start the third draft in a few days. And hopefully start a new one in the meantime so that I can be genuinely detached when we go back to the first one.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Yesterday and secret side projects

Yesterday was very traumatic for me. You see, my name is Chrissie and I am an addict - addicted to email and candy crush. Yesterday I was switching mobile provider while retaining my number and handset. I've never done that before so when I asked for a PAC code I thought it would unlock the phone. It didn't. I didn't realize what the problem was till I'd been without my fixes for over 2 hours, at which point I used an internet form to request an unlock code from my old provider. Their website said it would be 7-28 days to get a code. I nearly had a heart attack. Then I used their online chat function to see if there was a way to cut that time short and he told me it was more likely to be 24-72 hours. They unlocked it during the night and I woke up to an email telling me it was done, thank God.
But that wasn't all the trauma of yesterday as I got home to discover our central heating wasn't working. I don't know how M knew but he can be a bit of a hot house flower. Anyhow we do have a maintenance contract with British Gas so I had to quickly book a call out and luckily, because this happened in September not January we were able to get an appointment this morning, and I'm told it's all sorted now thanks to the installation of a new programmable thermostat and receiver. So that's a relief.
And now, OK, to the side project I've been banging on about without spilling the beans...
Since I was approximately 6 years old I've wanted to write fiction and since I left university I've been starting - and abandoning - novel after novel, feeling that I just didn't have the discipline (or the talent). A few months ago during my nearly a year unemployed I had an idea - that it might be better to start with a short story instead, just to find out if I could actually follow through with a beginning, middle and end, because quite seriously I've never before written an ending and I've only written bits of the middle by writing them out of order. I didn't do anything about it at that point because I was so depressed that my attempts to come up with possible story lines only produced stuff that might well have pushed me over the top into full-on self-harm.
But today I finished the first draft of a short story!!!
I was aiming for 5000 words and it's currently closer to 11000 words, but that's OK; my plan was to just get it all down somehow for the first draft as the first step in the bigger plan. The next step is editing and redrafting, which I expect to be quite painful, but again, I've never done it before because I never got that far. I have no idea if I can get it into a form that I'd ever be willing to let anyone read (and that's not really the point anyway.) I actually stuck to it and finished it! And enjoyed writing it and was excited to do it! Unlike past efforts it never felt like a drudge and it didn't intimidate me the way writing a whole book does. And even if it ends up hidden away in a drawer I feel like it might be the start of my continuing to write fiction in some form or other. So I am a happy happy bunny right now and will be at least until it's time to try to cut out about 5000 words :-). The advice I've read on the subject is to leave it to one side for a while so that I can read it more objectively when it's time to redraft it. So I plan to pick it up on Monday...
I know it's only a small achievement but I'm so happy!!!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


Definitely have got a cold (sniff)
I'm writing this in the evening, having taken a dose of night nurse, so I could fall asleep before hitting Publish.
Not quite yet though!
Last night was HORRIBLE. From conversations had and overheard on the train and at work today pretty much the whole of Wales spent most of the night lying awake listening to the wind and rain. Obviously I'm not suggesting we suffered anything like the weather experienced in the Caribbean and parts of the US, but the roads were littered with tree branches. And, well, OK, twigs. Still it sounded loud. And woke us up. Not M but I'm pretty sure he could sleep through a meteorite landing on the roof.
I drove to the station because I didn't feel well enough for the walk - I'm embarrassingly short of breath at the moment. 
Enough moaning about health and weather. 
I did work some more on the side project and I'm still not telling you what it is. But I'm nearly at the landmark position I promised myself I'd get to before I did tell you, so soon... Soon. I've already started drafting a rambling post about it! I'm sure if you make it through to the end your response will be "Meh. Is that it?" In which case I apologize in advance for the anticlimax and for not explaining it's significance to me properly. At least I don't plan to leave it as a cliff hanger for much longer...

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Tuesday and Monday and the weekend

I wasn't very well at the weekend. A combination of the pain from the sinusitis, the lack of sleep because my painkillers kept wearing off between midnight and 1 am, and a sore throat and swollen glands presumably in response to the sinusitis although at the time I thought I was just coming down with an unpleasant summer cold (obviously I'm using the word summer very loosely as it's definitely autumn here in Wales)
I didn't go for any walks - in fact I drove one mile each way to park up at Aldi instead of walking, and the only reasons I went at all were an overdue library book and a hair appointment made six weeks ago that snuck up on me. The rest of the weekend was reading, watching TV and watching a movie. Pure laziness for two days.
Yesterday I still felt coldish but in much less pain so I managed to work, do my side project and make a large pan of autumn is here vegetable soup.
And last night I didn't wake up until 3am! 3! And not in screaming pain, just in normal "I'm rubbish at sleeping" mode. Today is the first day since the sinusitis hit that I haven't taken any painkillers as yet (there's still a slightly uncomfortable sensation in the left side of my jaw / teeth but nothing to what it was) 
And my side project is coming along swimmingly so I may even feel like talking about it soon. 
All in all, not a bad day today!